Home care packages come with a range of inclusions and exclusions. These are services that can and cannot be paid for using home care package funds. We’ve covered some of these health care services in our guide on what home care package funds can be used for. In this article, we’ll go into some specific examples of inclusions and exclusions, so that you can know how to maximise your home care package.
Home Care Package Inclusions
Home care package funds can be used to pay for various home care services that help you remain happy, healthy, safe, and independent in your own home. These service inclusions often assist with your health, hygiene, mobility, and daily activities. Services can also assist you with transport and social activities, as well as minor home modifications.
Care services that help with your heath
Home care package funds can be used to pay for various care services that keep you healthy in your own home. This includes general health assessments and certain medical tests, as well as assisting with medication and other long-term-care requirements. More immediate concerns, such as wound care and management, bandaging, dressing, and skin emollients can also be covered with home care package funds.
Longer term health care services can also be covered by home care package funds. This includes allied health and therapy services, such as podiatry, speech therapy, physiotherapy, hearing and vision services, and other clinical services. Programs designed to assist with cognitive impairments like dementia and Alzheimer’s are also covered.
Care services that help with your mobility
Home care package funds can be used to pay for transportation services to and from services which fulfill your care needs. These service inclusions provide assistance with shopping, visiting health practitioners, and transport to social activities. If you are not able to make it to various locations, home care package funds can be used to set up communication technology to assist in its place, such as telehealth.
Package funds can also be used to assist with your movement around the home through mobility equipment. This includes crutches, walking frames and sticks, mechanical lifting devices, and bed rails. Equipment to help with your comfort is also covered, such as slide sheets, sheepskins, tri-pillows, and pressure-relieving mattresses.
Care services that help with activities of daily living
Home care package funds can be used to pay for services which help you to complete activities of daily leaving. These are basic daily activities that you used to complete independently but now need assistance with, such as getting out of bed, toileting, showering, shaving, dressing, meal preparation, and eating. Continence aids are also an inclusion covered by package funds.
Activities of daily living also covers help with communication issues that arise from impaired hearing, sight, or speech. Assistance in this area includes the setup of communication aids, checking hearing aid batteries, cleaning spectacles, and assistance with telephones or computers.
Care servicies to help with home maintenance
Home care package funds can be used to pay for basic home maintenance tasks to keep your home clean and safe. This includes general cleaning, such as making beds, ironing and laundry, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and light gardening.
Home care package funds can also be used to make minor home modifications which are directly related to your care needs. This includes minor modifications to assist with your mobility, such as grab rails, lifting devices, and temporary ramps. It also includes modifications to assist you with completing daily care activities independently, such as easy access taps.
Home Care Package Exclusions
There are a range of services that are specifically excluded by the Australian Government from being covered with home care package funds. These service exclusions are specifically excluded as they do not meet the immediate care needs of consumers.
General expenses and accommodation
Expenses that would normally be purchased out of general income cannot be covered through home care package funds. This includes household bills such as electricity, gas, and water, purchases of petrol, or funerals.
Permanent accommodation cannot be covered using home care package funds. This includes any form of assistance with home purchases, mortgage payments, or rent. Home and contents insurance is also specifically excluded.
The raw ingredient cost of food cannot be covered using home care package funds. General groceries, as well as takeaway meals, cannot be covered using funds. Food costs can only be covered in the case of enteral feeding requirements.
The preparation and delivery component of meal delivery services such as Lite n’ Easy can be covered using home care funds. In the specific case of Lite n’ Easy, home care package funds can be used to cover 70% of the service cost, with consumers having to pay for the remaining 30% themselves.
General entertainment activities cannot be covered using home care package funds. This includes club memberships and tickets to sporting events. Costs associated with gambling are also specifically excluded.
Holidays and travel
Expenses related to travel outside of your regular area of living cannot be paid for using home care package funds. This includes travel costs, such as bus, train, or plane tickets. Accommodation costs outside your general area of living are also specifically excluded.
Government funded services and fees
Government funds and services cannot be paid for using home care package funds. As home care packages are funded by the Australian Government, using these funds to pay for Government funded services or schemes is known as ‘double dipping’, as it is effectively claiming multiple benefits at once.
Items covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme are specifically excluded from being paid for using home care package funds. Additionally, home care package fees cannot be paid for using home care package funds.
Now that you know the home care package inclusions and exclusions, it’s important that you know how much funding is available in each home care package level. If you’re still not sure if a home care package is right for you, check out our article on the difference between home care packages and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.